Published on June 25th, 2016 |1
$3.8M Bernie Marcus grant to double Shepherd Center Vet’s program
The hospital expects to start using the building by the end of the year, according to a report by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Through its SHARE (Shaping Hope and Recovery Excellence) military initiative, Shepherd Center now treats about 50 veterans a year. The new building is expected to enable it to treat up to 100 annually, the ABC article said.
Marcus reportedly was inspired to fund Shepherd Center’s SHARE program after reading about a paralyzed young veteran who sat in a Veterans Affairs hospital for seven months. The vet’s mother fought the V.A. and U.S. Army to bring him to the Shepherd Center, and when he was finally able to get treatment there, he was walking with braces in six weeks.
“The veterans are just not getting the treatment they should be getting,” Marcus said.
Marcus up to this point has contributed over $1.5 million for the veterans program and $20 million total to the Shepherd Center. He said the Shepherd Center has treated about 400 veterans through the program so far.
Marcus’ new gift to Shepherd Center follows the announcement in March that he will give $75 million to expand Piedmont Hospital, which is Shepherd Center’s neighbor on Peachtree Road.
Marcus, who co-founded The Home Depot Inc., has made large donations to numerous other health-care organizations including Piedmont, Grady Health Systems, Duke Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals, Emory University School of Medicine; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shepherd Center is renowned for its treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular conditions. In its 2015 fiscal year, Shepherd Center had a total of 1,026 inpatient admissions, and 31,202 outpatient visits.
“The capacity increase is welcome, because we pretty much take most everybody that needs to be seen here,” said James Shepherd, co-founder and chairman of the Shepherd Center board.
SHARE provides an eight- to 12-week comprehensive rehabilitation program for post-9/11 veterans with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. The program costs about $1 million a year, and now it could cost up to $2 million.
One unique aspect of the initiative is veterans can stay with their family members during treatment in apartment units the center owns across from its campus. The center’s team is specially trained to work with veterans with PTSD, who are often unable to get the care they need from the VA.